Blissful and Domestic - Creating a Beautiful Life on Less: My Kitchen Gadget Must Haves.....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Kitchen Gadget Must Haves.....

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 Many of you lovely readers have emailed me, asking me for my kitchen must have list. Some are newly engaged, making up a wedding registry and some are into other seasons of life. No matter the season, these are some kitchen gadgets which have and are continuing to help me along the way. Below are my favorite, must have kitchen gadgets. Enjoy!

1-KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer - this has seriously been the best kitchen gadget I have ever been given. I received this little baby as a Christmas present, a few years back. I use this thing like everyday. I make bread, cookies, cakes, meatloaf, etc. It is a super mixer. It does have a hefty price tag, but it is an investment in your cooking/baking future.

2-Breadmaker- Oh my goodness! You know how I feel about bread makers. They rock! They offer convenience and goodness all in a little package. These are great to find at thrift stores. I can usually always find one or two at my local thrift stores. These are also great to put on gift/wedding registries. It is something that is going to last and as your family grows your skills will grow as well. I also recommend The New Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook. It is my bible when it comes to bread machine recipes.

3-Plate Dinning Set- When we were getting married I thought our whole house would be in blue and white. I wanted to do an Americana theme. Well that lasted all of five minutes. I ended up getting blue plates for a wedding present. If you know me or have followed my blog for a while, then you know my house is in brick red and sage green. I have no clue what I was thinking with those blue plates. I was a newbie...what can I say. I strongly recommend getting a simple white plate set to begin. Your tastes are going to change over time. I now have white plates and cups, which means my taste can change and my plates will continue to match. I would also look for a set where you can get the most for your money. Try to find a set that includes mugs, plates, and bowls.

4-Crock Pot- When hubby and I first were married, we would have starved if it was not for the crock-pot. I was given 101 Things to Do with a Slow Cooker along with my crock-pot, which I am so thankful for. My crock-pot basically introduced me to the world of cooking. Remember I had no clue how to cook when I got married:) I still have the very same crock-pot I received as a wedding gift. When that one dies retires I want to replace it with the damask beauty above. That crock-pot is so cute, I think I would leave it out just so I could admire it. For reals though, I still use my crock-pot a few times a week. It saves me time, sanity, and money!

5-Nutri Bullet- This one is more of a recent buy, but I wish I had it back then....You know err...10 years ago...cough cough. I use our Nutri Bullet for making purees (or you could do baby food when those littles come around), pasta sauce, smoothies, flour (yes it can grind up wheat berries into flour), etc. It is an amazing kitchen  gadget. I use ours almost everyday.
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6-Hamilton Beach Blender- Even though I have my Nurti Bullet, I still use my blender. We use it for smoothies, milkshakes, slushes, etc. It is a Kitchen gadget staple.

7-KitchenAid Aluminum Nonstick 12-Piece Cookware Set - Remember how I said I was a newbie when I made my wedding registry? Well I choose the generic pans, which have held up okay. They are definitely on their last leg though. My sisterinlaw was not such a newbie and was able to snag some KitchenAid pots and pans. I can say after 9 years, hers have held up much better than mine. Whatever brand you buy, you definitely want a set. I use my pots and pan everyday and you want a set that will stand up to the heat in the kitchen. Oh and having them in a fun color doesn't hurt either:)

8-Presto  Electric Griddle- Remember I said I have an obsession with pancakes? Well this little baby has only aided in my obsession. A griddle is such a great buy and it doesn't cost very much. I use it for pancakes, eggs, black bean burgers, etc. I received mine a few years after we got married. Hubby even got me one that was dishwasher safe. He knew how much I loathed washing dishes. Little did I know years later I would live in a home without a dishwasher. Oh the stories I could tell my 20 year old self. I would make her jaw drop in astonishment. --insert me giggling to myself--

9- 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet- My motherinlaw is a big supporter of cast iron skillets. I honestly think that is all the woman cooks with. She does eggs, meats, potatoes, basically the whole enchilada. While living with her, I also grew in my love for skillet cooking, especially diced potatoes cooked in a pre-seasoned cast iron skillet. Mmmm...It is good stuff people. I still have that same skillet today. Cast Iron is meant to last and is in it for the long haul. Definitely a must have if you like skillet I do.

10-EZ Baker Nine Piece Bakeware Set - I received a baking set for a wedding gift and I still use it today. Some pieces have needed to be replaced, but for the most part it is still going strong. It was a great way for me to start out in my baking journey. I also received like 10 baking pans at my wedding. No joke folks. The cutest gift we got was from the Clark family. They gave us a baking pan with Betty Crocker mix. It was a fun first date night, baking and munching together as husband and wife.
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12-Presto 01362 6-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker- I can not forget my precious pressure cooker. We have only recently become friends, but it is a friendship made to last. I am kind of bummed my 20 year old self had no clue that pressure cookers even existed. Sad I know! I have a 6-quart pressure cooker, which hubby gave me for Christmas. I cook veggies, stews, soups, meat, everything! Oh and did I mention it cooks ten times faster than baking or regular stove top cooking. It rocks! Blissful and Domestic even has a how to section with recipes, so if you do get one I can help you out with the how to use it part:)

13-Block Knife Set- I love having all my knifes in a block. It makes them easy to find and I know all my cutting needs are covered.

14- Canning Kit - Whether you know how to can now or are planning to start, a canning kit is a great investment in your families future. I learned how to can last year and our shopping dramatically changed. I now make our own jams, jellies, canned fruits and veggies, and pie fillings. Because I learned how to can, we were able to stop buying store-bought processed foods. I use the Jarden Home Brands 21400 Ball Blue Book. It is a great how to book, where canning is concerned.

15- Mason jars - I love me some mason jars. Whether you are using them as glasses, food storage, spice storage, canning, vases, etc. They look cool and they are super functional. So many uses!

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16- Rice Cooker -Once upon a time, I was a minute rice type of gal. I even use to have a special bowl that went in the microwave to make minute rice. I had tried and tried to make it on the stove, but it always came out hard and crunchy....that was until I found my first rice cooker at a thrift store for $7. Once I tried out the rice cooker, I entered a whole new world of cooking rice. For the first time it actually came out the way it was suppose to. Who knew I could actually make rice! It was awesome. I am still using that same thrift store rice cooker. It has served me well over the past years and is still going strong.

17- Colander - it strains....enough said. You always need one:)

18- Toaster - bagels, toast, whatever it is you want toasted this little gadget will do it for you. We are still using our black toaster we received for a wedding present 10 years ago. We use it, we love it, easy peasy.

19- Waffle Maker - We use it for waffles and corn bread. Yes I said cornbread. Make your cornbread batter and cook it in the waffle maker. Perfect for chili with cornbread waffles, plus it cooks your cornbread so dang fast. Great when you need dinner in a fix.

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20- Soft Pretzel Maker - I received this little baby for Christmas this year. My Mom had actually bought one for my brother, but when I saw it I may have hinted that I would love one as well. Christmas morning "Santa" happened to have got the memo. My brother and I have both been enjoying making nice, crispy, chewy pretzels with this handy little helper.

21- Utensil Holder Set - I love sets, since you get a lot more for your money. I also love fun holders to put your utensils in. I have mine right near the stove, so it is always ready for me to grab a spoon or spatula and begin cooking.

22- Quesadilla Maker - When hubby and I were first married, we went through a quesdilla phase. I mean we were real serious about our quesadillas. We had them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner...and we experimented with all kinds of goodness inside.....Good times folks....good times. We still have our maker and will occasionally whip up some tortilla goodness, when the moment strikes. Nothing makes a perfectly, crispy quesadilla like this handy gadget.

23- Measurement cups and spoons - you need them and plenty of them. They are nice little helpers where baking and cooking is concerned.

So there you have it. All my favorite kitchen goodies in one handy post. I always shop thrift stores first. I just can't pay full price for something when I know I could most likely find it second hand. Many of these items took me a while to acquire. Some I received as wedding gifts, some were birthday or Christmas gifts, and some I waited for. I searched thrift stores until I was able to find one. This is the best way to fully equip your kitchen on a budget. It may take time, but there is such a sense of satisfaction knowing you are living within your means, while creating a kitchen arsenal that will help you create healthy goodies for your family. Hope this helps all you lovely ladies and gents out there:)

Have a great day lovelies!

XO Danielle

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